Family law issues, including divorce, child support, child custody, and property division have a reputation for being emotionally taxing and complex. Our family law attorneys in Columbia, MD are here to debunk that stereotype and make the process as simple as possible for you and your family.
Whether you’re in a messy divorce or want clarification on Maryland’s property division statutes, Coover Law Firm is here to help. Keep reading to learn more about our specific practice areas, then call us at (410) 553-5042 to discuss your potential case.
What is family law?
Any type of civil law matter that focuses on family relationships may fall under the branch of family law. Most family law cases involve issues surrounding marriage, divorce, and parent-child relationships.
Divorce is a sensitive process. Tensions are high, and separating parties have several high-stakes factors to consider: whom their child will live with, how their property will be divided, and how they’ll afford to live after the divorce.
If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse, consider seeking help from a family law attorney in Columbia, MD. An experienced lawyer will represent your and your child’s best interests and negotiate a fair and equitable divorce settlement.
Your family law attorney will help you avoid becoming a financial victim – an all too common fate among unprepared divorcees – and work to get you back on your feet by helping you create a post-divorce financial plan.
When a child’s parents decide to divorce, the most sensitive issue is usually custody. In child custody cases, it’s best to be proactive and try to work things out between parties before taking the matter to court.
Our family law attorneys in Columbia, MD will represent you in mediation or collaborative family settings to reach an agreement, meeting both parent’s needs and providing a framework that nurtures your child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Child support is often the most contentious aspect of family law, especially when the divorced or separated parents are not on good terms.
Because child support cases are so sensitive, you must have a knowledgeable family law attorney in Columbia, MD on your side. Our attorney at Coover Law Firm will help negotiate a fair and equitable resolution, considering your and your child’s best interests.
Coover Law Firm also has the expertise to file legal actions against parents who fail or refuse to pay child support. In addition, our lawyers can help you change or modify the child support order if there has been a “material change in circumstances.”
For example, if one parent received a generous raise or if your child suffered an injury and you’ve accumulated hefty medical bills.
Child support can put you in a financial hole if you entrust such a significant process to an inexperienced attorney. Our Columbia, MD family lawyer will prevent financial mistakes, helping you factor in things like inflation, post-divorce financial plans, and your ex’s eligibility for social security benefits, among others.
Fathers can play a crucial role in their child’s development and future well-being by just being present in their lives. But fatherhood can be tricky when the parents aren’t married or if the mother is unsure who is the father of her child.
Sometimes, the alleged father denies that the child is his. An experienced family law attorney in Columbia, MD can assist in each of these situations by establishing paternity.
Paternity opens the doors to many benefits for your child. In addition to legally establishing a father-child relationship, paternity grants all rights of a father, including the right to seek custody and visitation. Without established paternity, it’s highly unlikely that the alleged father would be granted these rights.
Paternity also allows the father to endow the child with important benefits, such as financial support, life insurance, health insurance, and Social Security benefits.
During your divorce, you’ll understandably have concerns over how property will be divided with your ex.
It’s important to retain the services of a family law attorney in Columbia, MD to protect your interests and ensure you receive your fair share of the assets purchased during your marriage.
The Howard County family lawyer at Coover Law Firm will conduct an intense financial analysis of your estate during the marriage, including the items purchased and their value. Mr. Coover provides sound, customized advice, steering clients away from emotional attachments to property and instead making rational, well-informed decisions about your finances.
The purpose of property division is to maximize your finances, not put yourself in a hole by arguing to keep the house that you might not be able to afford.
Benefits of working with a family lawyer
You have the right to represent yourself in family law matters, but you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you do not have an experienced attorney on your side. The outcome of your family law case will affect your personal and financial life for years to come, and you do not want to risk leaving critical details out of the equation.
Emotions run high in family law cases, and no matter how much you may try to remain objective, it is normal for one’s judgment to be clouded by their proximity to the situation. A family law lawyer brings an unbiased eye to the negotiations and proceedings, which allows for creative solutions that you may not have considered. This, combined with the lawyer’s deep knowledge of the law, can help you achieve a more desirable outcome than if you pursued the case alone.
Working with an attorney can also save you considerable time. A simple misstep could result in costly delays that add weeks, months, or even years to the proceedings. Drawing from their vast legal experience in cases like yours, a family lawyer can help you avoid pitfalls and keep your case on track for a swift resolution.
What to look for when hiring a Columbia, MD family law attorney
Having a family lawyer on your side is invaluable, but not just any attorney will do. When looking for a family law attorney in Maryland, consider the following.
Think about your goals
Before you enter an attorney-client relationship, you should have a solid idea of what you would like to accomplish with the lawyer’s assistance. Think about the goals of your family law case and communicate those goals to the lawyer when you meet.
Pay attention to the lawyer’s response to your goals during the initial consultation. They should be on board with your vision and express confidence in their ability to help you achieve it. This confidence should be realistic, though. The right lawyer will have no problem telling you when your expectations are not within reason and will offer more suitable alternatives.
General family law experience is not enough when it comes to protecting your interests. The most qualified lawyer for your case will have extensive experience representing clients in matters similar to yours, whether divorce, child custody, or property division. They should be able to share examples from past cases in that specific area of family law to illustrate the results they’ve achieved and the strategies they used to get there.
The length of time the lawyer has practiced family law can also be telling. Looking for someone with at least a few years of experience assures you that they have encountered and successfully navigated a wide variety of scenarios that may be relevant to your case.
Family law matters are deeply personal, and the right attorney will be sensitive to that fact. When you meet with a potential attorney, pay attention to how they listen and respond to your concerns.
Are they patient and respectful of your feelings? Do they take the time to explain complex concepts in terms that you can understand? Do they listen intently to your input and respond thoughtfully? These are all signs of an ally who will put your interests first and communicate with you effectively throughout the legal process.
Legal representation comes at a cost, but it should not break the bank. The right lawyer should have fair and reasonable rates that fit within your budget, and they will openly discuss their fees and payment terms with you before they begin working on your case.
Surprise fees have no place in a professional attorney-client relationship. Trustworthy lawyers will be clear about their rates and any additional costs that could arise during your case. If there are any changes in the agreed-upon fees, they should be discussed transparently and approved by both you and your attorney.
A family lawyer’s reputation speaks volumes about the quality of their services. If a lawyer is well-respected within their community, particularly with other families and legal professionals, chances are they will be a reliable advocate for your case.
Ask for referrals for a family law attorney in Columbia, MD, or look online to see what other people have said about the lawyer’s services. The top attorneys will have glowing reviews and a lengthy list of satisfied clients.
Our Columbia, MD family law attorneys are ready to help
Divorce, child custody, and property division – are all unique areas of family law. However, a common thread unites them: instead of being stressful and demanding, these issues should be straightforward and as painless as possible.
Our family law firm in Columbia, MD will help resolve your dispute and work toward the best possible outcome. Call us today at (410) 553-5042 for a consultation and to get started on your case.